As the Agency for Health Care Administration travels the state soliciting public comments on the plan, one concern being voiced is an amendment that allows health care providers to deny certain treatments if they raise a religious or moral objection.
“If a woman came in for healthcare, she could be denied family planning services if the particular healthcare provider decided that he or she didn’t believe the woman should have birth control or anything included in family planning services,” said Wendy Grassi of Planned Parenthood of Central and Southwest Florida. “Which by the way include women’s gynecological exams, breast and other cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and also birth control.”
The amendment was added by Sen. Joe Negron (R-Palm City) on behalf of Catholic services.
“There’s been some misunderstanding about the amendment,” said AHCA Deputy Secretary Roberta Bradford. “As part of the application process, a provider would indicate whether they would be willing to provide a service, not necessarily deny a service, so to speak. If they are unwilling, it would still be available to the individuals and the agency would work with the individuals on how to obtain that care.”
The federal centers for Medicare & Medicaid services have to approve the plan before it can be implemented, Bradford added.
AHCA will submit the Medicaid overhaul plan for federal approval by August 1. Statewide implementation of the plan is slated for completion by 2014.
Fifty Lehigh Senior High students, once labeled "at risk," will graduate this weekend, thanks to the help of a college prep program called AVID. This is the first graduating class from Lehigh in the program that's offered in 28 school districts across Florida.
The 30-year-old AVID program focuses on the least served students from low-income families who have the ability but just aren't achieving. The goal is to help the kids graduate from high school and then to enroll in and complete a four-year college degree program. READ MORE
Patton praised the board’s budget dealings, saying when the county had additional money supplied by the federal government it foresaw the concerns down the road and saved that money for today.
“So, I think the first two cracks at the budget have been done and done very well so now it will be my turn,” she said. “It’s really a district that I think I can bring in enhancements so I’m going to bring my set of skilled eyes from the budget process to see what else might they have not necessarily have missed but I would see it from a different angle.”
She’ll earn $200,000 her first year. Her contract runs through June 30, 2014. Patton replaces Dennis Thompson who was fired in April.